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NJPW New Beginning in Hiroshima
February 11, 2021
Live from Hiroshima Sun Plaza Hall in Hiroshima, Japan. I'm skipping the 2/10 show for the sake of time, I can't watch everything. Our English host is Kevin Kelly.
Yuya Uemura, Gabriel Kidd, and Yota Tsuji vs. Dangerous Tekkers (Taichi and Zack Sabre Jr.) and DOUKI
DOUKI cheap shots a distracted Tsuji for an early advantage. Tsuji blocks Taichi's kick and elbows the knee, and follows with a dropkick. Uemura tags and overcomes Taichi's choke to hit a running elbow. Taichi chokes Uemura like he just caught him breaking into his house and cuts off the young lion. Uemura takes a beating but then dropkicks ZSJ for some separation. Hot tag to Kidd, who manages to go toe to toe with ZSJ. The Young Lions triple team ZSJ in the corner, and Kidd gets 2 on a dropkick when DOUKI saves. ZSJ nearly gets pinned by Kidd, and serves palm strikes to counter Kidd's uppercuts. Kidd counters into a vertical suplex, but ZSJ blocks a butterfly suplex and applies a deep armbar for the win at 8:57. Standard Young Lions match, where they get enough offense so they have some credibility when their times come, but the current stars still win handily, **½.
Winners: Dangerous Tekkers and DOUKI
Suzuki-gun (Minoru Suzuki, El Desperado, and Kanemaru Yoshinobu) vs. Master Wato, SHO, and Tomoaki Honma
Suzuki and Honma go right to work stiffing each other. Desperado knocks SHO into the ring post while Honma and Suzuki thrash each other into the barricade. Suzuki-gun isolate Honma and work him over in their corner. SHO gets a hot tag and tears into Desperado with lightning kicks. SHO wins a slugfest but Desperado comically thumbs the eyes. Desperado hits a spear, but SHO spears the freshly tagged Yoshinobu. Honma and friends triple team Yoshinobu, but Suzuki and Desperado make a timely save. Wato suffers a series of tandem offense, but SHO saves the match. Wato struggles to maneuver into a bridge cover, but gets the 3 anyway at 8:08. Total house show filler match, **.
Winners: Master Wato, SHO, and Tomoaki Honma
Bullet Club (El Phantasmo, Taiji Ishimori, and Yujiro Takahashi) vs. Los Ingobernables de Japon (BUSHI, IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Champion Hiromu Takahashi, and Tetsuya Naito)
Bullet Club jump LiJ before the bell and they brawl around the ring. Bushi hits Ishimori with a missile dropkick, but then gets tossed, giving control to Bullet Club. Hiromu gets a hot tag and avoids a 2 on 1 situation by forcing Ishimori to rana Phantasmo. Double shotgun dropkick by Hiromu, and a Falcon Arrow on Phantasmo for 2. Phantasmo and Hiromu duke it out and both go down after a confusing airplane spin spot. Naito gets a hot tag and squares off against Yujiro. Finger bite by Yujiro allows an inverted DDT and Fisherman buster on Naito. Time for the obligatory match breakdown as everyone in LiJ gets their sh!t in. Destino finishes Yujiro at 10:00. Lively and entertaining filler, but still filler, **½.
Winners: Los Ingobernables de Japon
Bullet Club (EVIL and Dick Togo) vs. CHAOS (Kazuchika Okada and Toru Yano)
Okada lunges at EVIL before the bell to force him to start the match, and then sends him into the rails. EVIL reverses a whip into the barricade and chokes with a chair. They are counted out at 1:35 and EVIL has to be pried off of Okada. Bullet Club are perfectly okay with this result. Just an angle.
Bullet Club try to walk away but Okada hunts them down with a chair. Okada gets pulled away and tells them off on the microphone. Okada demands a singles match against EVIL, and it's on!
EVIL vs. Kazuchika Okada
They kick things off with an urgent brawl. Okada plants EVIL for a nearfall, but EVIL grabs a handful of hair to smash Okada's skull to the canvas. Okada answers with his patented neckbreaker for 2. EVIL can't hit a Fisherman Buster, and Okada nails a dropkick and locks on the Money Clip. EVIL blocks Rainmaker but can't hit Darkness Falls, so he settles for a lariat. Darkness Falls gets 2. Scorpion Deathlock by EVIL and the crowd is really into this. Dick Togo returns with a metal device and kicks the referee away before attacking Okada. The ref tosses the match out at 5:40. This felt like the final 5 minutes of a 30 minute match, minus a finish, **.
Winner via DQ: Kazuchika Okada
Toru Yano fails to make a save, and Togo chokes out Okada with a steel cable.
NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Team Championship:
CHAOS © (Tomohiro Ishii, YOSHI-HASHI, and Hirooki Goto) Bullet Club (Jay White, Tama Tonga, and Tanga Loa, with Gedo and Jado)
White finds Ishii during the opening brawl. The crowd approves of CHAOS triple teaming White. Tama tags in but also gets flustered by CHAOS. Loa grabs YOSHI-HASHI from the apron to give Tama an opening, but Goto helps by hip tossing YOSHI onto him. Bullet Club gain the upper hand and puts YOSHI through the wringer, to the point where he might not be able to continue. White hits a vertical suplex but waits too long for a cover, YOSHI kicks out at 2 and continues to absorb a beatdown. YOSHI hulks up and catches Tama with a neckbreaker. Goto gets a serviceable hot tag and hits Tama with a bulldog. White breaks the cover and gets chased out, allowing Guerillas of Destiny to ambush Goto with neckbreakers. Tama hits Goto with the Tongan Twist for 2. Ishii tags in and aggressively goes after a feisty White, but suplexes him anyway. Gedo distracts, allowing White to DDT Ishii through the ropes. White thrashes Ishii into the guard rails and hauls him back for a brainbuster. Ishii kicks out! YOSHI-HASHI's interference buys Ishii time to recover. Goto and Ishii go for stereo slams but get countred into Loa's double clothesline. GoD set up Ishii for White's Kiwi Crusher for a great nearfall. Match totally breaks down, Ishii cuts off White's hot streak with a brutal headbutt and lariat. White blocks the Vertical Drop and hits Ishii with a uranage. YOSHI-HASHI finds his second wind and runs wild through Tama. GoD retake control, hitting YOSHI with a tandem slam for 2. YOSHI blocks the Magic Killer, but gets floored by an assisted shoulder block. GoD hit a pair of diving head butts, but Goto saves the match. Goto takes another turn running wild. Tama gets triple teamed, but White makes the dramatic save. Crowd is really into this. Jado distracts for White to low blow YOSHI! Bullet Club look for a triple powerbomb, but Ishii and Goto break it up. Ishii superplexes Loa while Goto dives onto Tama. Ishii cuts White off with a German suplex! YOSHI lariats Loa for 2, so he applies a Butterfly Lock. Jado breaks it with a kendo stick, Loa rolls YOSHI up for a scary nearfall. YOSHI desperately cradles Loa for the win at 27:07! Exhausting, but epic war of attrition with lots of moving parts and a blistering pace, ****.
Winners and still NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Team Champions: CHAOS
Zack Sabre Jr. joins Kelly on commentary, which hopefully means what I think it means.
IWGP Heavyweight/Intercontinental Championships:
Kota Ibushi © vs. SANADA
They feel each other out with a mat grappling game, SANADA forces the first break. They lock up again and reach a stalemate, and Ibushi waves a finger. They quicken the pace, SANADA misses a moonsault off the apron but hits a draping neckbreaker on the floor. SANADA focuses his attacks on Ibushi's freshly softened neck. Ibushi mounts a comeback, hitting a standing moonsault for 2. SANADA leap frogs repeatedly to position himself for a slingshot plancha to ringside. SANADA soaks up a bit too much crowd adoration and Ibushi hits a dropkick and slingshot plancha of his own. Ibushi also appreciates the fans and maneuvers into a rana. SANADA answers with a leaping rana. They trade forearms on their knees, which feels unearned with 14 minutes gone. Ibushi cuts SANADA down with a stiff kick, but SANADA fires an uppercut, and Ibushi reverses into a German suplex. Ibushi hits the Last Ride Sitout Powerbomb for 2. SANADA blocks and then steals Kamigoye! SANADA throws Ibushi into the buckles and they both take a breather. Superplex by SANADA, who then floats over into a slingshot suplex for 2. SANADA works Skull End and then misses a moonsault. Ibushi lawn darts SANADA into the buckles. SANADA blocks a dead lift German and hits a messy TKO off the apron. Tiger Driver by SANADA gets 2, Ibushi gets swung around and pops up for a knee to the face. SANADA blocks Kamigoye and goes for a moonsault sequence, but Ibushi gets his knees up! They trade urgent counters until Ibushi hits a rear Kamigoye! Ibushi hits a second Kamigoye but SANADA kicks out! SANADA cradles Ibushi into a dramatic nearfall, but Ibushi pops up for one more Kamigoye and the win at 27:54! SANADA did well making it appear that he was marching towards victory, strong title defense for Ibushi in the early months of his reign, ****.
Winner and still IWGP Heavyweight/Intercontinental Champion: Kota Ibushi
Final Thoughts: Lots of filler on the undercard, but the two title matches delivered. We're truly living in a golden age of wrestling when a show with two **** matches feels like a routine night at the office.
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